The profound advantages of printed photovoltaics (PVs), such as their light weight, mechanical flexibility in addition to the small energy demand, and low cost equipment requirements for roll-to-roll mass production, characterise them as a dominant candidate source for future electrical power. Over the last few years, the discovery of novel solution processed electronic materials and device structures boosted PV power conversion efficiency values. Despite that, power conversion efficiency is not a 'stand-alone' product development target for next generation PVs. Lifetime, cost, flexibility and non-toxicity have to be equally considered, regarding the technological progress of solution processed PVs. The ambit of the Sol-Pro research programme is to re-design solution processed PV components relevant to the above product development targets. Based on this, processing specifications as a function of the electronic material properties will be established and provide valuable input for flexible PV applications. Adjusting the material characteristics and device design is crucial to achieve the proposed high performance PV targets. As a consequence, a number of high-level objectives concerning processing/materials/electrodes/interfaces, relevant to product development targets of next generation solution processed PVs, are aimed for within the proposed ERC programme.
The objective of Sus-Bio-plastics is to develop new biotechnological waste-to-value chains for the most promising (based on market share value) bioplastics by implementing innovative microbially mediated practices. To achieve this aim, the project is structured under 3 innovation pillars, regarding 2 processes and 1 tool for integrating sustainability in waste management of bioplastics (1 non-biodegradable (bio-PE) and 3 biodegradable (PLA, PHB and TPS)). Microalgal-bacterial or bacterial communities will be exploited as a biotechnological tool to formulate a stable metapopulation capable of degrading bioplastics. In case mechanical recycling is considered as the best end-of-life option, a bioclean-up process of the weathered layer of the bioplastics PLA and bio-PE will be developed. This process will serve as a pretreatment stage prior to mechanical recycling which will yield near virgin pellets holding the capacity to enter the recycling stream. In case organic recycling is the best end-of-life option, a new bio-recycling route will be developed to treat waste biodegradable bioplastics (PHB and TPS) and produce high-value compounds. The mutualistic interplay between microalgal and bacterial species will be capitalized towards bioplastics upcycling and minimization of CO2 releases, constituting a highly novel approach which has not been previously explored.
One of the top ten goals set by the White Paper on Transport is to reduce fatalities in road transport. The European Union is aiming to halve road casualties by 2020, in line with the long term goal to move close to zero fatalities by 2050. Despite the reduction in road fatalities in the EU since 2010, there are specific countries where the numbers are increasing. In addition, the yearly decrease rate in road fatalities for Europe as a whole is slowing down. In order to reach the goal set for 2020, action should be taken immediately. The most vulnerable road users are motorcyclists, who are currently suffering from frequent fatalities in crashes involving road barriers. The European Road Assessment has indicated the critical need to adopt improved barrier designs to protect vulnerable road users. While rubberized concrete has been recommended for road barriers, challenges involving strength and durability of the material have not been addressed. This research proposes to develop optimised steel fibre-reinforced rubberised concrete mixtures as well as road barrier designs, which will lead to the development of SAFER road barriers with outstanding deformability and structural integrity; thus paving the way for forgiving road infrastructure. The use of recycled rubber and steel wires (obtained from End-of-life tyres) supports the Horizon 2020 Transport Research and Innovation Act priorities for sustainability and resource efficiency (including the Circular Economy package).
Bilge water is the main pollutant of shipboard wastewater; it can be briefly defined as saline, oily and greasy wastewater with a high COD (> 3-15 g COD L-1). The discharge of oil residue to marine environments is prohibited according to the International Maritime Organization (IMO) regulations (MARPOL 73/78) and the European directive 2000/59/EC. However, due to the fact that the major part of the oil in bilge water is emulsified, the physical methods may fail to satisfy the targeted treatment levels and contribute significantly to operational cost. Few studies are so far available for the use of biological methods for real bilge water treatment. Electro-SAnMBR” project will develop an innovative technology consisting of an electrolysis cell (EC) inside a Submerged Anaerobic Membrane Bioreactor (SAnMBR) for the treatment of real bilge water. The electrochemical system will be consisted by a pair of electrodes (anode and cathode, without an ion exchange membrane) inside a SAnMBR. This e-SAnMBR system will be developed and optimized at a laboratory scale at Environmental Engineering Laboratory (EEL) Cyprus University of Technology (CUT), then it will be operated at pilot scale at Ecofuel Cyprus Ltd and the microbial profile in bioreactors will be examined at Environmental Bioprocessing laboratory (EBL) at CUT. The electrodes will be constructed at the Nano/Micro Mechanics of Materials Lab (NMML) at CUT The research will be mainly implemented by Dr Gatidou and will involve novel aspects from many disciplines such as molecular microbiology, material science, environmental biotechnology, chemical engineering and environmental analysis and will also involve testing of bioreactors at industrial pilot scale level (Ecofuel Ltd). In addition, potential success of the project could lead to immediate application of the research findings by the company (Ecofuel Ltd) but also to future commercialization of the results